What's been happening around the country? | Issue 193

Oct 17, 2023

Hopefully the season is progressing well for you all – apart from the spring winds that seem to be particularly obnoxious this year! 

By now you will have seen the messages coming out from all quarters about the El Nino summer and I know that many regional councils and the Ministry for Primary Industries are gearing up for an early and long dry summer.  NIWA have also just released a forecasting tool that should be helpful for farmers, here:

The tool predicts drought and rain over a week or 35 days and can be viewed regionally or across the country.

There is also a Deer Facts sheet for feeding deer during drought – download it here if you haven’t already got it in your folder:

This month has seen a ramp up of NZDFA activity with a number of branches holding committee meetings (Canterbury-West Coast, South Canterbury-North Otago) and AGMs (Taranaki, Taihape-Ruapehu) all held prior to the October Branch Chairs meeting in Wellington.  I attended the Taihape-Ruapehu AGM and it was great to see a good turnout (maybe 30+) at Ohakune.  It was also nice to be able to formerly present Robbie Bruce his Matuschka Award for 2023 (Andrew Peters accepted the award on Robbie’s behalf at the May conference).

For the lower South Island (Alexandra and Winton) there was also the DINZ Roadshow on 12 and 13 September where Justin Stevens and I presented the NZDFA Focus document that was endorsed by the Branch Chairs at the May conference.  The mood at these meetings has changed from last year – there seems to be more optimism amongst members although the concerns of increasing production costs and environmental regulation are ever present.  We now have a change of government so there is some more optimism that environmental regulations will become more manageable and less costly.

This optimism is also reflected in the latest Goldpine State of the Industry report:

The highlight however was the Branch Chairs Meeting which, although was down in numbers with a number of chairs unable to attend, was well received by the attendees. Apart from the usual areas there were presentations from the MPI Chief Veterinarian, MPI On Farm Support and the NZ Game Animal Council on illegal hunting.

We are well into the busy time of year for many of you who will be velvetting and getting ready for calving next month.  The velvet competition calendar is filling up – please see the DINZ website events page and let us know if your competition isn’t posted.  These are important social events for the branches so we would like to publicise these for all interested deer farmers.

Look out also for details appearing soon for the Glen Dene (Lake Hawea) environment field day on Friday 1 December.  This will be a great opportunity to visit a farm that has a stunning backdrop and is constantly in the community’s eye – it promises to be a great day out.

Lastly, there is a vacancy for a NZDFA representative on the OSPRI Stakeholders Council – please see the notice later in this newsletter. The Council represents livestock industry sectors across the supply chain alongside central government and regional council. It advises and makes recommendations to the Board on operational policy associated with OSPRI programmes.

I strongly encourage anyone with an interest in this area to consider applying for this position.  There is a modest honorarium.  

Best wishes for the velvet season and hoping for a not so hot and dry summer ahead.

- Lindsay Fung, Producer Manager

Continue reading DFA Stagline Issue 193, next: 2023/24 Velvet & HA Competitions >>

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